Exact Match Domains & Their Effect on SEO

Exact Match Domain

If you have an exact match domain such as www.plumber-manchester.co.uk, the latest Google EMD update could be bad for your SEO.

What are they?

An exact match domain (EMDs) is essentially a domain describing a product or service exactly, for example:

www.teethwhitening.com

www.teeth-whitening-london.com

www.plumber-manchester.co.uk

For a long time now the great Google have been saying there is no benefit to having one of these, so is/was this true?

Do Exact match domains work?

Well the short answer is yes– if you used the right approach they used to work.

We have lost track of all the customers who were under the false impression that buying lots of www names (describing their area and service) was great idea, and wrongly instructed us to buy as many as possible on their behalf (which we didn’t).

They would always come at us with a big list of names such as:

plumber-richmond.co.uk,

boiler-repair-richmond.co.uk,

central-heating-engineer-richmond.co.uk,

central-heating-richmond.co.uk

and these days something with a .LONDON on the end

Just buying these names and redirecting them to their original website was always of no benefit whatsoever.

However that said, in the past it was possible if we made individual new “micro websites”, and optimised them properly for each individual area we could get some good rankings quickly- as is the case for some of our recent clients.

It Worked for us.

Search for: locksmith Watford

our client

https://www.locksmithwatford.net

is nearly always in the top three (and is today) – it only took 4 weeks from launching the site for this to happen!

Google says NO

In a tweet that has been described by other UK search engine optimisation companies as a “bomb being dropped” Matt Cutts the head of the “web spam” team at Google said:

” our new algorithm update is affecting EMD queries to a noticeable degree”.

In non-corporate speak this means that exact match domains are on the way out, we haven’t seen any negative effects for our clients yet- but this is the sort of thing that Google announce every now and then and over a period really begins to bite.

What should you do?

1) Don’t buy any more domain names that you think sound good, there is no value in this unless you are thinking of setting up completely different websites each time.

This will just mean that at some point you will end up trying to optimise one of your own sites at the expense of another and in effect will be fighting against yourself. In our view it is much better to do one site well than multiple sites badly.

2) If you do have a website with an exact match domain name, watch it carefully, at some point it is possible that it’s current ranking may suddenly drop and you’ll find yourself floundering on page 10 when you used to be on page one of Google the day before.

For even more help on how to improve your website’s effectiveness, you can get our free website audit here.
 

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